Honours Boards for the season
We have had what I would describe as a mixed season – both in terms of the outcomes for our 1st and 2nd teams and one that has been interrupted by some outside influences including some terrible weather and the odd covid scare.
The 1st XI ended up finishing a respectable, and I would say justifiable, 6th place in the league. This was after spending much of the season languishing in, or very close to, the relegation zone. This was partly driven by some very close games at the start of the season not quite going our way, frustrating cancelations, the fixture scheduling (playing more of the bottom half of the table towards the end of the season) and of course the Wisborough way of always finishing a season better than we start it! In total the 1st XL won 6 and lost 8 games with 4 cancelled due to weather. Not a bad performance given that some of the teams at the top of the league are very strong outfits.
However, the 2nd team unfortunately lost the battle to stave off relegation by just 1 point – which really does make us rue those 4 penalty points we had deducted. The outcome for the season very much contradicted the plan at the outset which was to aim for promotion – a target I still feel was achievable if not for a few more players being regularly available (across both 1s and 2s squads!). Starting with 3 wins from the first 4 games we thought we might be on course for reaching our goal – however only 1 more win from the remaining 10 completed matches meant that promotion chase turned into relegation. The main factor here I strongly believe is availability across the whole squad meaning a few 2nd XI regulars were missing for the second half of the season – most notably Frank Vickery (only managing two games after the end of June due to a new job) and Will Dixon (having cemented a place in the 1st XI for the final 6 games of the season). In total the 2nd XI won 4 matches, lost 10 and had 2 cancellations. A disappointing outcome but plenty of positives to build on.
Some final thoughts from me. Firstly – it was just great to be back playing cricket, certainly my first full season for a long time, after the covid impacted 2020 season. We welcomed yet another new face to our squad and our club – namely Juan Vorster who has been a great addition. It was also the first full season for a few other new players including James Janion, Ollie Stott and Tom Dawson to name a few. We also saw the club focus on promoting and developing our youth with some great prospects showing great promise throughout the season, this includes: Richard, Ocsar, Eddie and of course Will Dixon. As part of this development we also had a coach for most of the 2nd half of the season – this shows our ambition to create a development culture at the club – so thank you to Chris Fletcher for training our squad. We also saw the return of some of our old guard – Ben Thatcher had a one game run out (prior to hurting his ankle on Franny Stag do), Tom Jenkins, Tim Dodd and last but not least Jamie Self – coming back and showing what we had been missing most of the season.
I’d like to thank a few guys who really stepped up this year and took on more senior role both on and off the pitch:
• James Rainford, excellent performance as vice-captain and generally supporting the players and squad through the season,
• Steve Calder Smith – wow, what a year with the bat. All I can say is Farmer owes you those 9 runs that you were short of 500 this year – a great performance!
• Will Dixon – tremendous in every aspect as he stepped up to the 1st XI – bowling brilliantly whenever asked to by the captain
• DJ Dominique, warrior with the gloves (even if only the 2nd best keeper at the club) and ever present at training;
• Nick Klein, some unbelievable batting displays with plenty of lusty blows really turning some matches in our favour and added to more consistent bowling we saw some great all round performances from Nick this year – best of the bunch being 60 odd and 4 wickets vs Barns Green on the last day of the season.
• Joey Calder Smith, showed real development in the pace and variation of his bowling which was great to see and painful to keep to
• Captain Farms, a very much matured and consistent performer throughout the season as well as a much developed captain
• Tom Dawson, great to have Tom around the place – a leader on the field with useful insight to support the captains
• Harry Hunter – an absolute stalwart on a Saturday and at training, some tremendous performances this year and I have no doubt he will continue to develop for next season
• Chris Marshall – superb at getting people involved on a Sunday and really helped us at the end of the season by leading the 2s.
Lots to work on in the down season – stay fit and keep your eye in! Very much looking forward to building further next season.
Click here for the senior team selections for this week.
Concluding remarks from our Chairman Tarnie Dixon